Tuesday, June 28, 2016

34 Writing Contests in July 2016 - No Entry Fees

Jonathan Wolstenholme
July is a great month for writing contests. There are nearly three dozen contests this month featuring every type of subject and genre imaginable. Prizes range from a box of cookies to a hundred thousand dollars. Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to read the full guidelines before submitting.

Good luck!

Note: I post a list of free upcoming contests the last week of every month. But if you want to get a jump on contests, "Free Contests" is regularly updated. Be sure to check there for future as well as past contests - many are held annually.

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Winter Tangerine AwardsRestrictions: Submissions will only be accepted from writers who have not yet published a chapbook, novel, or collection of any type. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Prize: $250 apiece for poetry and prose (fiction and essay compete together), plus trophy, used books, box of cookies, and one-year WTR subscription. Deadline: July 1, 2016. Read guidelines HERE.

Emmy Awards - Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting AwardRestrictions: Non-US citizens under the age of 30 only. Prize: $2,500, a trip to New York City, and an invitation to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in November. DeadlineJuly 1, 2016.

Bop Dead CityGenres: Flash fiction, poetry. Prize: $20. Deadline: July 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. The work submitted must be a first book of poetry published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted. Prize: $100,000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. Book must be author's first full-length book of poetry, published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Self-published books are accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

Montgomery County Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to Montgomery County residents only. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $250 and publication in Montgomery Magazine. Runners-up will receive $100 and have their work published on montgomerymag.com. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

Richard J. Margolis AwardGenre: Journalism. Prize is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Prize: $5,000 and one month of residency at Blue Mountain Center. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions: Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

John Glassco Translation Prize. Sponsored by Literary Translators' Association of Canada. Restrictions: Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. Genre: The work submitted must be the translator's first published book-length translation into English or French. The book must have been published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Prize: $1000. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

Texas Book Festival Youth Fiction Writing Contest. Hosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin. Restrictions: Junior and high school Texas students. Genre: Original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length on theme of "Note to Self." Prize: Winners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. Deadline: July 1, 2016.

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience. Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author. Self-published works not allowed. Genres: Published or scheduled to be published fiction and literary nonfiction. Prize: $10,000 in each genre and in-store marketing/merchandising from Barnes & Noble. 2nd Place $5,000 in each genre, 3rd Place $2,500 in each genre. Deadline: July 7, 2016.

Stone CanoeRestrictions: Open to people who live or have lived in Upstate New York (not New York City). Genres: Drama, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: July 8, 2016 (poetry), July 22, 2016 (fiction), July 29, 2016 (non-fiction).

Ethnographic Poetry Award. Sponsored by The Society for Humanistic Anthropology. Genre: Poetry associated with any of the five fields of anthropology: Archaeological, Biological, Linguistic, Sociocultural and Applied. Prize $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.

Peter Blazey Fellowship.  Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15 000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: July 15, 2016.

FutureScapes Writing ContestGenre: Short fiction up to 8,000 words, written in accordance with prompt: Cities of Empowerment. Prize: $2,000 prize for first place, $1,000 prize for second place, and $500 prize to each of the four runners-up. Deadline: July 15, 2016.

The Undergraduate No-Fee Contest. Sponsored by Sandy River Review. Restrictions: Undergraduates enrolled in college or a Spring 2016 graduate. Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.

Mash StoriesGenre: Short story based on three prompt words. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 15, 2016.

Norman Mailer Writing Award for Middle and High School TeachersRestrictions: Middle and High School Teachers. Genre: Creative Non-fiction. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: July 18, 2016.

The New Writers Award. Sponsored by the thirteen members of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Genre: First published volume of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 25, 2016.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for NonfictionRestrictions: Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books published by a Canadian press, written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Titles must be published between May 25, 2016 and September 30, 2016.  Genre: Literary nonfiction including, among other forms, works of personal or journalistic essays, memoirs, commentary, criticism both social and political, history, and biography. Prize: Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000. Deadline: July 27, 2016.

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeGenre: Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Prize: $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists. Deadline: July 27, 2016.

Black Country Museum Poetry CompetitionGenre: "Poetry in any style which explores the concepts of earth and air, whatever they may suggest to you. Whether you think of the earth scarred and bespoiled by industry or the ‘Green borderlands’ that Elihu Burritt spoke of; whether the choke of foundry dust and the searing of the lungs by chemicals, or the weekend’s walk in the countryside; whether it is the town or the country; the realm of worms or of the birds; of the highs or the lows; of the freedoms or the internments: earth and air are central to our experience, they are at the very core of us, the place from which we write." Prize: £100 first prize. Deadline: July 29, 2016. Read terms and conditions here. Entry form is here.

Love: A Better Way to Work with People Essay ContestGenre: Personal essay of up to 750 words that shares a true story about how Love and Compassion helped solve a specific work or business problem. Prize: First Place: $100.00 money order. Second Place: $75.00 money order. Third Place: $50.00 money order. Deadline: July 30, 2016.

Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook AwardGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, or prose poetry of about 7,000-12,000 words. "The manuscript may be a collection of mixed pieces--short stories, flash fictions, prose poems, essays, or a stand-along excerpt from a longer work--but should be unified by a common theme. We seek new, original work, though individual pieces that have been previously published elsewhere may be included." Prize: $250.00 honorarium and 25 copies of the winning chapbook, which will be printed and sold on Amazon.com. Deadline: July 30, 2016.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year AwardRestrictions: Open to young poets age 11 - 17. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

The Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky LiteratureRestrictions: Contest is open to any writer of English: who is a native of Kentucky, or who has lived in Kentucky for at least two years, or whose manuscript is set in or about Kentucky. Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Publication by Sarabande Press. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2015 semester. Genre: Essay:Topic for 2016  - Immigration is a controversial topic in American history, even more so in 2016.  Citing examples from his writings, speeches, and policies, what was Abraham Lincoln's position on immigration?  Did it evolve?  Is it relevant to our contemporary debate? Prize: 1st Prize $1500 | 2nd Prize $750 | 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

SLF Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds GrantsRestrictions: Open to writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. -- those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. Genres: Book-length works (novels, collections of short stories) of speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

I Must Be Off! Travel Writing ContestGenre: Travel articles, travel anecdotes and travel reflectionsPrize: $200. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Landfall Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Open to New Zealand writers. Genre: Essay about New Zealand. Prize: The winner will receive $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Library Journal 's Self-Published Ebook AwardsGenres: Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy. Open to all English-language self-published ebooks. No restrictions on date of publication. Prize: $1,000.00 USD plus review in Library Journal. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

USNI Naval History Essay ContestGenre: Essay: Identify individual women and their contributions that have made it possible for the United States to build and maintain the world's finest military.  Prize: First Prize: $5,000. Second Prize:$2,500. Third Prize: $1,500. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. The Feminist Press has partnered with TAYO Literary Magazine to launch a contest seeking the best debut books by women and nonbinary writers of color. Genres: Fiction, including novels and short story collections, or narrative memoir, of 50,000 to 80,000 words. Prize: $5,000 and a publishing contract from the Feminist Press. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Bastiat Prize for Journalism. Established in 2002 by the International Policy Network. Genre: Journalism. Articles must have been published in English for the first time June 30, 2015 and July 31, 2016. Prize: The total prize fund is $16,000, divided between first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third ($1,000) prize winners. Deadline: July 31, 2016.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

30 Great Writing Conferences in July 2016

July brings us some wonderful writing conferences, including some really big events like ThrillerFest and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference.

Writers have a lot to gain from attending a conference - opportunities to talk to authors, pitch sessions with agents, as well as workshops covering every aspect of writing and publishing. In addition, you get to share experiences with other writers. I encourage you to attend one!

Note: For a monthly listing of conferences, as well as how to find upcoming conferences, see Writing Conferences. Many of these are offered annually, so if you missed a conference you'd like to attend, you can always plan to attend next year.

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ThrillerFest X. July 5–9, 2016, New York City. This is the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers. The ThrillerFest conference has four main components: Master CraftFest, CraftFest, PitchFest, and ThrillerFest. Master CraftFest was designed as an educational tool for aspiring writers as well as debut and midlist authors to gain advanced training from the masters of the craft in an intimate, day-long training session. CraftFest was designed for all writers to learn from bestselling authors and subject experts who kindly offer their advice and assistance to advance attendees’ writing techniques and further their careers. PitchFest was designed to match writers with agents, editors, publishers, and producers. ThrillerFest, the final two days of the conference, is intended to offer readers a chance to meet the best authors in the industry and be introduced to debut and midlist authors. Expect innovative panels, spotlight interviews, and workshops to educate and inspire.

Southampton Writers Conference. July 6–17, 2016, Long Island, NY. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and publishing, as well as readings, lectures, and a master class series with Roger Rosenblatt. The faculty includes poet Billy Collins; fiction writers Lauren Groff, Daniel Menaker, and Meg Wolitzer; and nonfiction writers Melissa Bank, Adam Gopnik, and Matthew Klam. The cost of a five-day workshop is $1,300; the cost of a twelve-day workshop is $1,950. Tuition includes access to all conference events and the master class series. Submit up to 10 pages of poetry or 10 to 20 pages of prose and a statement of purpose by April 1; there is no application fee. Scholarships are available; the application deadline is March 1. Participants may also register for the master class series only, for $950; a twelve-day residency at the conference, without a workshop, is available for $950, which includes access to morning and evening events. To apply, submit a statement of purpose by April 1; there is no application fee.

Leviosa. July 7-10, 2016, Henderson, Nevada. Harry Potter, YA Lit and Writer's conference featuring close to 80 hours of programming over six tracks over four days: Academic, YA Literature, Slash/Queer Literature, Writing, Fandom, Creativity.

The Summer Writers Institute. July 8 - 22, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri. An intensive, two-week program featuring workshops with experienced instructors and published authors. Writers also benefit from readings, craft talks, and individual conferences with instructors. Faculty: Eric Lundgren, Fiction; Heather McPherson, Modern Humor; David Schuman, Micro Prose; Kent Shaw, Poetry; Kathleen Finneran, Advanced Personal Narrative; Deborah Taffa, Personal Narrative; Colin Bassett, Lit. Journalism. Cost: $1,950.

Antioch Writers' Workshop. July 9 - 15, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Morning classes and afternoon seminars in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for all levels of writers--beginning to advanced. The workshop includes opportunities to give readings, receive professional critiques, interact with faculty, and meet with a visiting agent.

Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers. July 9 - 16, Wallowa Lake, Oregon. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions, readings, and open mics. "Held each July at Wallowa Lake in northeast Oregon, Summer Fishtrap gathers writers for a week of inspired writing workshops and culminates with a weekend of passionate discussion on a key issue facing the West." Faculty: Justin Hocking, Laura Pritchett, Robert Michael Pyle, Erika L. Sanchez, Marjorie Sandor, Barb Tetenbaum, Jane Vandenburgh, Joe Wilkins, Anis Mojgani, Cameron Scott, John Daniel. Cost: $750.

Tin House Summer Workshop. July 10-17, 2016, Portland, Oregon. Workshops with afternoon craft seminars and career panels. Evenings are reserved for author readings and revelry. Tin House editors and guest agents are available to meet individually with students throughout the week. Faculty: Fiction: Steve Almond, Mat Johnson, Rebecca Makkai, Toni Nelson, Chinelo Okparanta, Jess Walter, Joy Williams, Luis Urrea, Alex Chee, Jon Dee, Rachel Kushner, Dana Spiotta. Poetry: Jericho Brown, Sharon Olds, Greg Pardlo. CNF: JoAnn Beard, Michelle Tea, Kiese Laymom. Cost: $40 application fee, $1100 for tuition, $650 for room & board.

Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Summer Seminar. July 10 - 16 and 17 - 23, 2016, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Workshops in poetry and fiction, one-on-one manuscript consultations, panel discussions, and readings.

Young Writers Workshop. July 10 - 30, 2016, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Restrictions: For students completing grades 9, 10, 11. Three 90-minute workshop sessions daily, including imaginative writing activities and discussion of readings. Weekly individual meetings with workshop instructor. Focus is on using various forms of creative writing to develop language and thinking skills.

Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop. July 11 - 15, 2016, Oceanside, Oregon. An intensive workshop for those who are not only passionate about children's book writing, but who dream of publishing their own children's books. Getting attendees published is the end goal. The instructors are five professional children's book authors, two children's book editors from major publishing houses, and a full-time children's book agent. Students can have at least one major manuscript consult per day, and possibly more.

Idyllwild Arts Summer Program Writers Week. July 11 - 15, 2016, Idyllwild, California. Workshops, craft talks, readings, and one-on-one consultations in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. "For decades Idyllwild Arts has been a gathering place for some of the world's finest poets and writers - among them Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds, Maxine Kumin, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Philip Levine, Luis J. Rodriguez, David St. John and Natasha Trethewey. That fine tradition continues with our second annual Writers Week, a gathering of talented writers from Idyllwild Arts and beyond."

Green River Writers Workshops:Turning Memory into Story: Memoir Writing Workshop. July 14 - 17, 2016, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Using memory as a starting point, Green River Writers Workshops focus on the craft of storytelling through memoir, fiction, historical writing, and poetry. Both experienced and beginning writers are welcome.

The Gathering. July 15 - 17, 2016, La Plume, Pennsylvania. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures and performances. "Each year The Gathering is structured around a theme that relates everyday experiences to broader issues. The purpose of The Gathering is to promote understanding and empathy to bridge cultural, social, and economic gaps. Lecturers include authors, poets, scientists, philosophers, musicians, performers, and artists who help shape contemporary thought in their field. A reading list gets us thinking ahead of time about the issues we’ll be immersed in at The Gathering. Our presenters have included Salman Rushdie, Gregory Maguire, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Diane Ackerman, Chris Abani, Susan Jacoby, Katherine Paterson, Peter Bohlin, Nancy Willard, Victor Navasky, Sandy Tolan, and many others. Their availability for conversation during meals and breaks and at social gatherings offers important opportunities for participants to gain new insights into the speakers’ work."

All Write Now! Writers' Conference. July 16, 2016, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A one day writers conference with workshops, pitches, in-person critique sessions, Slush Pile, contests, bookstore, lunch and prizes. Cost: $75/early bird/$85 regular registration.

Saskatchewan Festival of Words. July 17 - 24, 2016, Moose Jaw, Canada. Over the 4 days of the festival there are workshops for all ages, reading sessions, concerts, film, panel discussions, interviews, music, theatre, a slam poetry competition as well as workshops and author readings.

Write Time Black Writers Retreat. July 17 - 24, 2016, Palm Springs, California. "Designed for fiction and nonfiction writers and set amidst tranquil mountains surrounding an invigorating desert oasis, this affordable workshop will inspire and enlighten you. Head home with clearer direction and progress on your writing, energized from spending time with a community of dedicated writers, immersed in the literary life." Faculty: Dr. Venise Berry, Dr. Jacqualyn Green, Ms. Jamillah Warner.

Centrum Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. July 17 - 24, 2016, Port Townsend, Washington. workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft lectures, readings, open mics, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Kim Addonizio, Erin Belieu, Gary Copeland Lilley, Jimmy Kimbrell, and Joseph Stroud; fiction writers Claire Davis, Skip Horack, and Pam Houston; and creative nonfiction writers Lisa Norris and Luis Urrea.

Writing the Rockies. July 20 - 24, Gunnison, Colorado. Workshops, readings, panels, seminars and other events in poetry, genre fiction, screenwriting and publishing. One-to-one visits with faculty for critiques & pitches. Sponsored by Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Western State Colorado University.

Midwest Writers Workshop. July 21 - 23, 2016, Muncie, Indiana. Craft and business sessions, agent pitches, manuscript evaluations. MWW includes quality instruction by a faculty of authors, agents, editors, and specialists.

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. July 22 - 24, 2016, Grapevine, Texas. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is a forum for journalists, writers, readers, students, educators and the general public to listen to, be inspired by and practice their craft at the highest possible level. Every year, the Mayborn Conference gathers some of the most talented storytellers in the country to share their stories, life-changing experiences and expertise with aspiring writers through three days of lectures, panels, one-on-one sessions, and student classes. In addition, the conference includes a variety of writing contests for anyone from high school students to Pulitzer prize winning professionals, who receive hand-made trophies, more than $26,000 in cash awards and have their work published in Mayborn's journal, Ten Spurs, or anthology, Best American Newspaper Narratives.

Tennessee Writers Conference, July 23, 2016, Nashville, TN. This is a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. Attending agents: Cate Hart (Corvisiero Literary); Victoria Lea (Aponte Literary); Eric Smith (PS Literary); Julie Gwinn (Seymour Agency); Marisa Corvisiero (Corvisiero Literary); Laura Apperson (editor for St. Martins); and Tricia Skinner (Fuse Literary).

Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. July 24 - July 29, 2016, St. Helena, California. Workshops in poetry and fiction, craft lectures, panels, and evening readings with wine receptions at venues around Napa Valley. Faculty in poetry, Camille Dungy, Brenda Hillman, Major Jackson, and Brian Teare; in fiction, Charles Baxter, Ron Carlson, Lan Samantha Chang, and Yiyun Li.

Stonecoast Writers’ Conference. July 24 - 30, 2016, Portland, ME. Workshops in poetry, short fiction, novel, and nonfiction/memoir, and a mixed-genre Creative Writing Bootcamp. The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is open to students of all experience levels. However, admission is selective. Writing sample and deposit required.

Taos Summer Writers' Conference. July 24 - 31, 2016, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Workshops in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and publishing, as well as master classes for full-length manuscripts, readings, manuscript consultations. "We offer both weeklong and weekend workshops in fiction, poetry, nonfiction and more. Regular workshops fill on a first-come, first-served basis, while admission to weeklong master classes is determined by an evaluation process. Each year, the Conference invites several agents, editors and publishing professionals to consult with Conference participants. The 2016 Conference will feature a Sunday evening keynote reading by Sandra Cisneros and a Friday evening Pitchapalooza.  Daily round tables and faculty readings will round out the Conference experience."

Business Writers Conference. July 27 - 29, 2016, Young Harris, Georgia. A conference for professionals who want to publish their idea, concept, or expertise. Speakers, boot camp. break-out sessions, workshops. 

PNWA Conference. July 28 - 31, 2016, Seattle, Washington, Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. More than 50 seminars, editor/agent forums & appointments, practice pitching, keynote and featured speakers, reception, awards ceremony. Many agents and editors attending.

Agent, Editor, Authors Critiques & Pitch Workshop. July 28 - 31, 2016, Tacoma, Washington. Critiques with a pro, a pitch session with an agent, panels with everything from geography and world-building, Indie and Hybrid vs. Traditional, the editing process, marketing, and much more. Also a two-hour block of time set aside for a free, open to the public portion. Authors will speak in an open discussion on several aspects of writing and there will be an opportunity for book sales and signings. Workshop Leaders: Beth Meacham (Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books); Claire Eddy (Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books); Lucienne Diver (Agent with The Knight Agency).

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference. July 29–August 1, 2016, Los Angeles, California. More than 100 writers, editors, illustrators, & agents. Workshops, breakout sessions, manuscript and portfolio consultations, panels, discussions.

Colorado Writing Workshop. July 30, 2016, Denver, CO. This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop. "We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction". Writers of all genres are welcome. Attending agents: Carlie Webber (CK Webber Associates Literary); Alex Barba (Inklings Literary); Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron Literary); Angie Hodapp (Nelson Literary); Greg Johnson (Wordserve Literary); Becky DeJeune (Bond Literary); Jennie Goloboy and Dawn Frederick (Red Sofa Literary); and Samantha Fountain (Corvisiero Literary).

Catamaran Writing Conference. July 31 through August 4th, 2016, Pebble Beach, CA. Workshops, craft lectures, and daily excursions, for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Faculty includes poets Joseph Millar and Zack Rogow; fiction writers Charlie Jane Anders, Molly Gloss, and Elizabeth McKenzie; and creative nonfiction writers Frances Lefkowitz and Elizabeth Rosner. The keynote speaker is fiction writer Jonathan Franzen. Cost, including tuition, most meals, and lodging on the Robert Louis Stevenson School campus, is $1,250. Submit five poems totaling no more than 10 pages, or up to 10 pages of prose by July 15. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

3 New Agents Looking for Clients - Fiction, Nonfiction, Kidlit, Crime and more

Here are three new agents looking for clients. New agents are a boon to writers. They are hard-working, enthusiastic, and will go the extra mile for you. Make sure you read the agency website before submitting!

Sam Freilich (Elyse Cheney Literary) is seeking literary fiction, crime, biography, narrative nonfiction, and anything about Los Angeles. Suzy Evans (Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency) is looking for adult and children's nonfiction, MG commercial fiction, and YA fiction. Barbara Berson (The Helen Heller Agency, Canada) is interested in literary fiction, non-fiction and YA.




Sam Freilich of Elyse Cheney Literary

About Sam: Sam Freilich studied Literature at Bard College and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CalArts. Before coming to Elyse Cheney Literary Associates, Sam worked at the Hill Nadell Literary Agency. He also handles permissions for the agency.

What he is seeking: He enjoys reading literary fiction, crime, biography, narrative nonfiction, and anything about Los Angeles.

How to submit: Send a query lettering briefly describing your project and professional background, along with up to three chapters of sample material. Send by e-mail to: submissions [at] cheneyliterary.com.

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About Suzy: Suzy is an attorney, author, and agent. She holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Her most recent books include Machiavelli for Moms (Simon & Schuster) and Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and People with Disabilities. She’s also a ghostwriter for a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million copies in print and her first children’s book will be published by HarperCollins in 2017.

What she is seeking: In the adult market, Suzy is particularly on the hunt for serious nonfiction, especially by historians who are looking to make a transition from an academic to trade readership and journalists who have something unique and significant to say. She’s also on the lookout for smart parenting books with useful, original hooks that fill a gap in the market; food, cooking, health and diet-related titles, especially culinary histories of all flavors; sports books with smart crossover appeal in other genres, especially history and philosophy; self-help of every stripe by authors with national platforms and riveting, elegantly-written memoir, as well as popular culture, humor, and small quirky books.

On the children’s front, Suzy is looking for engaging, original nonfiction that makes kids excited about learning; wacky/hilarious MG commercial fiction with series potential; and YA graphic novels that bring history, literature and fascinating historical figures to life, heartwarming, coming-of-age MG works; contemporary YA fiction that tackles difficult issues and can be brought into the classroom to stimulate meaningful discussion and thought; and sweet, lyrical picture books.

Please note that Suzy is not looking for: romance, sci-fi/ fantasy, or anything with vampires, unless it’s a history of vampires, then she’d be happy to take a look!

How to submit: Fiction: Please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Non-fiction: Please send a query letter, an overview of your project including a chapter outline, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), a description of competing books, and the first 10-15 pages of your first chapter. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Picture Book Writers: Please send a query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and full manuscript text pasted below your query letter. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Send queries to: suzy@dijkstraagency.com

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Barbara Berson of The Helen Heller Agency (Canada)

About Barbara: Barbara Berson (BA, MA), has had an extensive publishing career both in her native NYC and Toronto, most recently as Senior Editor at Penguin Books, where she acquired and edited bestselling, award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and YA by Joseph Boyden, Colin McAdam, Lee Henderson, Roy MacGregor, Teresa Toten and Carrie Mac, among others. 

What she is looking for: Barbara is interested in literary fiction, non-fiction and YA.

How to submit: Send query letter, brief bio, synopsis, and a recent writing sample to  barbara@helenhelleragency.com. Query letters and writing samples should be contained within the body of the email.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Promoting Your Scifi or Fantasy Novel on Social Media

If you have published a science fiction or fantasy novel, you'll need to promote it on social media. I know the thought of engaging in yet more social media makes you cringe, but like it or not social media is here to stay. And you may, in fact, be pleasantly surprised at how effective it can be.

Here are some social media platforms that can help you promote your book for free. Although they allow promotion, most of these platforms are not strictly promotional. Their main purpose is to host discussion groups, book clubs, and writing critique groups.

In addition to the ever-present necessity of promoting your work, I would encourage you to take advantage of these non-promotional functions for two reasons: 1) As a writer, it's essential to participate in discussions about your craft and genre, and 2) You may make some valuable contacts with other authors in the course of those discussions. (I did.)

Facebook Groups

Facebook is a huge social media platform, which means it can produce dramatic results. First, set up a page for your book. (This is a must.) Then join writers' groups. The largest and most active writers' groups are listed here: 43 Facebook Groups for Authors. There are also several active Facebook groups geared specifically to science fiction and fantasy writers. These are:

Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in America. (Closed group) This is for writers who focus their work mainly on science fiction and fantasy. The site is for writers to post small pieces of their work to get others' opinions on them, to offer or request advice about the art, craft, and business of writing, and to exchange interests concerning science fiction and fantasy writing with like-minded individuals.

Cyberpunk Science Fiction & Culture (Closed group) Group dedicated to all things related to cyberpunk: culture, literature, music, film, technology, games, fashion, lifestyle, etc.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. This group is open for anyone who loves the genres of science fiction and fantasy. They welcome readers, writers, viewers and all lovers of the genres.

Science Fiction. (Closed group) For all those interested in science fiction and fantasy adventure reading.

Space Opera. Space opera is a sub-genre of science fiction dealing with stories of epic adventure and conflict on a grand scale. If you are a fan of authors like Poul Anderson, Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, E.E. Smith, David Drake, Neal Asher, John C. Wright, Iain M. Banks, Walter Jon Williams, Dan Simmons, Jack Vance, David Weber, Vernor Vinge, Stephen Baxter, Larry Niven, or Louis McMaster Bujold, this group is for you. Authors can promote their books through special promotion threads.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Fans. This is a virtual book club of fans of science fiction and fantasy.

SciFi,Horror,Endoftheworld,Truestory.,other,Books,Screen,Music,Writers. This group is for authors, novelists, screenwriters, and bloggers to share their pages and/or published work.


Goodreads

Goodreads, now owned by Amazon, is the largest reading community in the world. That means they want to read your book. Aside from signing up as an author and posting your book on Goodreads — which you MUST do — you can join groups that will help spread the word. (For tips on how to use Goodreads see: 8 Ways to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Book.)

We PROMOTE Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers/Authors - "If you need help promoting your work, my Sci-Fi/Fantasy Team can advertise your book in our active Facebook fantasy & sci-fi page with 117,000+ Likes, Twitter page with 20,000 Followers, and feature it in Fantascize.com. We can also help you reach thousands of readers through book reviews, author interviews, book trailers, and any other type of advertisment/promotion you may need. For more details, Email my team at fantasynscifi@gmail.com or me personally at berserkxxo@yahoo.com if you're interested."

SciFi and Fantasy Book Club (15669 members) - This is mainly a discussion group, but there is also a folder for authors to promote their books. Make sure to read the rules before posting.

SciFi and Fantasy eBook Club (3538 members) - Self-promotion is allowed in the Authors' forum for active members.

Dystopia Land (2047 members) provides a folder where authors can post releases, giveaways, free books, and short stories.  

Twitter Hashtags

#SciFi
#SciFiChat
#scifibookclub
#speculativefiction
#fantasy
#sciencefiction
#DarkFantasy
#Fantasy
#Dystopian
#Paranormal
#PNR (Paranormal Romance)
#SteamPunk
#UrbanFantasy
#ScifiRTG or #SFRTG (Sci-fi Retweet Group)
#IFNRTG (Indie Fantasy Re-tweet Group)

General marketing:

#amreading
#indieauthors
#mustread
#kindle
#kindledeals
#BookMarketing
#IARTG (Indie Author Re-tweet Group)
#YA (Young Adult)
#indiebooksbeseen
#Amazon
#BYNR (Be your next read)
#BookGiveaway
#Free
#Freebie
#FreeBook
#FreeDownload
#FreebieFriday
#FreeReads
#KindleBargain

Google+

Google + communities are an ideal platform for book promotion. These communities are lively, and posting is effortless. (All you need to do is post a URL and a brief intro.) Before you start joining Google+ communities make sure you have set up an attractive profile on Google. It's easy to do, and I guarantee people will be visiting. (My profile has gotten over 5 million views.) You can also set up a page for your book. Don't forget to read the rules of the groups before posting!

Speculative Fiction Writers - This Community is a place where all writers of science fiction and fantasy, from brand new to published authors, can come together to share trials and triumphs in developing new worlds, human and nonhuman characters, and stories large and small. (No promos)

Science Fiction Writers - Any and all discussion related to science, fiction, or any intersection of the two is welcome. This community does not allow self-promotion, but feel free to post book reviews and announce the release of your latest work.
Science Fiction - Authors, please feel free to post information and links for your books, blogs or other promotions, but please be sure to do it into the correct category and be sure to limit your self-promotional posts to once per week.

Fantasy Writers - All active members who post and comment on writing-related topics are welcome to promo their work on Saturdays.

Reddit

Reddit is underutilized for promotional purposes, probably because the site actively discourages self-promotion and ads. Nevertheless, several authors have been "discovered" on Reddit, and have developed sizable fan bases, usually through r/books and its subreddits. (The trick to Reddit is knowing which sub-reddit is appropriate for your topic.)

r/books. This is a very active community dedicated to the world of books. There are no direct promotions allowed on this page, but they do have a “new releases” section where you can promote your book. You are allowed to promote your own writing in "new releases" as long as you follow these two rules:
  1. The books being discussed must have been published within the last three months OR are being published this month.
  2. No direct sales links.
All the sci-fi related subreddits have been collated into a Big list of SF-Related Subreddits. There are too many subreddits to list here, but if you take a quick look at the Big List you will find many in the "writing" section that will be useful. (Also make sure to check the genres list.) There are two sub-reddits that are particularly active, and which allow some self-promotion. (Please read the rules before promoting your work!)

r/scifi (238,420 readers) Saturdays “self-promo Saturdays,” so log in on Saturday to promote your book. If you look at the side bar you'll find numerous subreddits, and within those even more sub-subreddits. 

r/sciencefiction (34,189 readers) This reddit is for fans and creators of science fiction and related media in any form. 

Pinterest


Pinterest is a great tool for sharing information. You can set up a board for your own publications and include photos of your book covers, signing events, and anything else related to your writing. You can also set up a group board devoted to related science fiction or fantasy topics, such as self-published science fiction or your favorite classic science fiction books, and allow others to share their titles. You can join established boards as well. (This is a great way to get followers.) Here are some group science fiction and fantasy boards that welcome new pinners:

SciFi Books – Community Board

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

Bookaholics Anonymous

Indie Authors and Self Published

! Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

For more detailed information about how you can make best use of Pinterest see:  How to Use Pinterest to Build an Audience (For Writers)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Use Pinterest to Build an Audience (For Writers)

Pinterest was conceived as a kind of virtual bulletin board - a place to store all those neat images you run across when you are looking for something else on the net.

Pinterest is also a great tool for storing blog posts, websites, and all those useful articles you read online and then can never find again.

Surprisingly, it's only relatively recently that people have begun to use Pinterest as a marketing tool. (When I started using Pinterest, there were no ads!)

To be honest, while Pinterest has great potential, it's not as easy to use as Facebook or Twitter. As a form of social media, it's a little awkward, and there is much less likelihood of something going "viral." However, Pinterest has certain advantages shared by no other form of social media.
  • It's easier to find information on a page of images than on a timeline
  • Pins can be arranged thematically. This makes it easier to group specific types of information
  • Images are memorable. An image that is interesting is more likely to catch a reader's attention than text
  • Pinterest is highly addictive. Users re-pin images like mad, and they tend to stay on Pinterest longer, as well as visit it more frequently

How to use Pinterest

1. Set up your profile. Your full profile will appear on your home page, so design it carefully. First, upload an attractive, colorful image. (Square is best, as it will end up as a circle.) You can provide your location, your website (a must!), and a short bio. The bio is very important. Make sure you mention your publications, genre, and anything else potential readers might be interested in. For contact information include your Twitter handle.

2. Get followers. Like any other form of social media, you can get followers on Pinterest. There are several ways to go about this:
  • Include a Pinterest follow button on your blog posts
  • Add a profile widget to your blog. This also leads visitors to your Pinterest page. But it is more comprehensive than the follow button because it’s bigger and can display up to 30 of your latest pins. (I have gotten significantly more followers from the widget than from the button.)
  • Make sure to include your Pinterest link to all your other social accounts
  • Follow. Received wisdom is to follow 200 boards, then wait to see who follows you back and drop anyone who doesn't respond. The way you find boards to follow is by typing keywords into the search bar. Follow any boards that share your interests. (There are numerous writing boards. )
3. Use keywords. According to Bibliocrunch, the number one priority for using Pinterest is to have a “search mindset.” This means utilizing keywords in the descriptions of your boards and pins so that people searching for similar pins and boards can discover you. Fortunately, finding keywords is very easy. Type a general search term into the search bar, for example, Romance. The screen will refresh to give you popular categories under Romance. If you click on Books, more sub-categories will appear below the search bar,  — Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical, Worth Reading, and so on. Each time you click on a sub-category, increasingly specific terms will appear. Those are your keywords. Use them to hone your descriptions the same way you honed your search.

You can also broaden your audience by using the Keyword Tool. This allows you to search for the most popular keywords on Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Bing. An added feature of this tool is that it allows you to search by country and language.

4. Set up collaborative boards. Pinterest allows pinners to set up boards that allow many contributors. Some of these boards have hundreds of thousands of followers. (To find collaborative boards, go to Pin Groupie, a site that allows you to search collaborative boards by topic, number of followers, and number of pinners.) Increasing the number of pinners will increase your visibility. You can invite collaborators by email address or name. (Click the Invite button on the upper right to view your options.) You will have to follow one another to collaborate on a board.

If you want to join an established board, some collaborative boards provide contact information in the description. Check Pin Groupie for collaborative boards in your category to see which ones accept new pinners. (You can search for "writers," "writing," "authors" for general boards, or search your genre for more specific ones.)

5. Choose your images wisely. Pinterest is a visual medium. So, spend some time finding a captivating image for your pin. (See 43 Sites Where You Can Get Fabulous Free Photos for some great free sources.) The optimum image size is 600 x 800. It will resize down to 192 x 256, but will be restored to its full size when it is clicked. (If you are using Blogger, set your image size to large.)

Infographics have a great deal of success on Pinterest, as do images that also contain written information. Images that are informative as well as eye-catching will warrant more than a quick glance, and drive more traffic to your blog, story, or article.

Helpful articles:

All About Boards - Basic information about Pinterest boards.

12 Ways to Get More Pinterest Followers

How To Use Pinterest’s Group Boards To Get More Exposure For Your Business

How To Viral Market Pinterest

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Top 10 Sites for Indie Authors

Indie authors need all the help they can get. Self-publishing is taxing, time-consuming, and there is a steep learning curve. Fortunately, there are lots of people who are willing to help.

If you are considering self-publishing, you will need an arsenal of tools, tips, and strategies, all of which you can find in the following sites.

Need a free guide on how to get your book into bookstores? Galley Cat has one. Need daily updates on the publishing industry? Look no further than Publishers Weekly. Between these 10 sites you will be well-equipped to take the Indie world by storm.


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1. GalleyCat brands itself as "the first word on the book publishing industry." Here you will find the latest digital and print publishing trends, new books, and authors who might be "the next big thing.” The site features daily updates on Publishing, Book Biz, Reviews, Resources and Bookselling. They also list job openings in the publishing industry and offer courses (right side bar).

Every week Galley Cat publishes lists of the 10 top-selling books in the two major market places for self-published digital books: Amazon and Smashwords. The lists include a live link to the book so readers can buy it, right from the site.

In addition, Galley Cat provides a number of resources for self-published authors among which are: Free Sites to Promote Your eBook, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores, and How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets.

2. Publishers Weekly is an institution in the publishing industry. Founded in 1872, it is read by nearly every librarian, publisher, agent, and bookseller in the country. Publishers Weekly articles cover publishing, bookselling, marketing, merchandising, trade news, along with author interviews, people in publishing, and bestsellers.

Keeping up with the times, Publishers Weekly offers several free newsletters, one of which, the Book Life Report, is aimed specifically at self-publishers. In addition to providing the latest news about the ebook publishing industry, self-published authors can apply to have their book reviewed. Advertising space is also available.

3. TheBookDesigner.com  was founded by Joel Friedlander, the reigning "guru" of self-publishing. As a book designer and author, his site provides insights, tips and practical information for the self-published author, as well as offering breaking news about the industry at large. For resources, you cannot do better than this site. From free guides, to book templates, to media kits for your launch and print-on-demand book sizes, this site has everything.

In addition to providing extensive resources, Friedlander compiles a monthly blog carnival, The Carnival of the Indies, in which he gathers posts from all over the web. If you write about self-publishing, you can submit your blog posts to the blog carnival.

4. Jane Friedman.com. Jane Friedman has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry. She has been a featured speaker in such notable venues at BookExpo America, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World. Her site attracts over 150,000 unique visitors per month.

In addition to offering author services such as critiques of proposals, synopses, and query letters, Friedman publishes a free newsletter, Electric Speed, in which she recommends the best digital media tools and resources for authors. (About 2 messages per month.) Her Writing Advice archive provides invaluable tools for every type of writing and publication format imaginable.

5. BookWorks.com describes itself as "a community dedicated to producing, publishing and promoting its members' books, sharing what they learn and helping each other." Core membership is free. As a Core member you will have access to:
  • Works in Progress – Post 2000-word excerpts of your book for peer review 
  • BookWorks Blog – Where industry experts share valuable insider tips, information and how-tos, plus breaking news from across the indie blogosphere, guest writers, as well as archives of all past blog posts organized by topic 
  • Resource Directory— All the essential services; curated, arranged by category & updated frequently 
  • Author Profile – Your customizable online hub & calling card 
  • Community – Interactive, Social & News feed with member controls ... the heart of the BookWorks community 
  • BookWorks BookShop – Where you can showcase & sell your book(s) by linking your titles directly to retailers 
  • Service Provider Members – Everything from freelance proofreaders to web designers who offer services to help Indie authors self-publish 
  • BookWorks’ Learning Tools – “Success Series” white papers, as well as forthcoming podcasts & webinars.
6.  Blog.Smashwords.com. Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to change the way authors self-publish. By 2014 Smashwords had become the leading publisher of Indie books with a catalog of 336,000 books by over 100,000 authors.

The Smashwords blog was one of the first blogs dedicated exclusively to news and best practices of self-published digital authors. On this blog you will find the latest developments on ebook publication, digital requirements, breaking news, as well as the highly informative surveys Smashwords conducts each year.

7. DIYAuthor.com is a site that “educates and empowers writers — from the curious to the committed — with tools and resources to successfully develop, publish, and market their work with confidence.”

DIYAuthor boasts numerous resources: writing tips, editing, how to design your book (cover and layout), self-publishing platforms, how to promote and market your book, and managing your life as an author. This site is very user friendly and beautifully laid out. You won't have any problems finding the articles you need.

8. IndiesUnlimited.com was named as one of the top six blogs for authors by Publishers Weekly, and that's quite an endorsement. The link will take you directly to the blog, which like all blogs is arranged from most to least recent. But if you click on the Resources tab in the upper left corner, you'll find a long list of useful articles. This site also provides great links for finding reviewers for your book.

9. Author Marketing Experts, Inc. Penny Sansevieri started Author Marketing Experts because, like so many of us, she had written a book and had no idea how to promote it. However, unlike most of us, Penny had a background in marketing, which she put to good use. Her articles are practical, concise, and highly informative. Once you are in the site, look for Categories on the right side bar. These are nicely arranged into marketing, publishing, self-publishing, social media, and writing. You can also sign up for their free newsletter, which I suggest you do.

10. TheCreativePenn.com. Joanna Penn's blog is a wonderful resource for both aspiring and experienced writers. She delivers numerous marketing and self-publishing tools and updates via videos, tutorials, podcasts and, of course, blog posts. The site has over 1000 articles and over 100 hours of audio information, as well as downloads. Overwhelming? Yes, indeed. That's why there is a "Start Here" tab. Start there.

And as a bonus:

ThePassiveVoice.com. Passive Guy (aka David P. Vandagriff) is a lawyer who began blogging anonymously "so his snarky remarks would not show up when opposing counsel performed a Google search." Personally, I find his remarks to be anything but snarky. Although his disclaimer warns readers not to take his comments as legal advice ("get a lawyer") he has some truly valuable insights into contracts as well as self-publishing. (Look in Categories on the right side bar for a full list of topics,) Passive Guy's expertise makes this a popular site. It gets 2.5 million pageviews per year.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

10 Simple Ways to Promote Your Blog (For Writers)

If you are a writer, you absolutely must keep a blog. Why? Because blogs are a great way for agents and/or editors to see how you write informally and, of course, your fans will enjoy reading your blog posts.

The problem faced by bloggers is the same faced by up-and-coming writers. How will people find you? If you have not yet published a book (and even if you have) it is difficult to make yourself known in the vast Blogosphere.

Fortunately, there are many ways to promote your posts. You can precycle by publishing your posts on other well-trafficked sites first, you can guest post, you can also post links to your posts on various platforms.

A few sites also allow you to recycle your posts. That is, you can re-publish your posts on another, larger, platform. (See LinkedIn, Medium, Scriggler, and Niume below.)

When you re-post, remember to include a call to action at the end. The call to action is a simple statement of who you are and what your blog is about, along with a link. It should inspire people to check out your blog.

As a case in point, here is my call to action:

Erica Verrillo has published five books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on how to get an agent, lists agents who are looking for clients as well as publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers, explains how to market and promote your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews, how to self-publish, and where to find markets for your work on Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity.

The following are the sites I have found to be the most productive in terms of generating traffic to my blog.
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Google+ - Google Plus is an excellent platform for bloggers. There you will find numerous writing communities of all stripes: marketing for authors, self-publishing, fantasy writers, poetry, horror, sci-fi writers, bloggers - you name it, there's a community for it. If you haven't already, set up your Google Plus profile, and join the appropriate communities. Once you've joined, you can post links to your relevant blog posts on community boards. You can also post your writing, depending on the community rules. (Make sure you read those rules before you post!)

Because you only post a link to your post along with a short intro, Google Plus directly increases traffic to your blog. There is no need for a call to action, although you should make sure to place the name of your blog at the top of your intro. An additional benefit is that people on Google Plus groups are likely to recommend your post to others.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network, allows members to publish blog posts. You can either compose a post, or simply copy and paste your blog posts onto your LinkedIn blog. There is no predicting how many people will see your post. Most of my LinkedIn posts have gotten a less than impressive response, but a few have gotten over 10,000 views, so don't forget your call to action on these posts!

Like Google Plus, LinkedIn has groups. Because LinkedIn is aimed primarily at professionals, the discussions tend to focus on practical aspects of writing. This is an ideal place to share experience, advice, and tips.

Medium - Medium was developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. The idea was to create a platform for both amateurs and professionals featuring publications that operated as a form of social journalism. Since its inception, the platform has changed, and bloggers can no longer simply add their posts to publications. (Adding posts to publications is now by invitation.) Even though the new restriction cuts down on traffic, it is possible to generate tens of thousands of views on Medium because it is directly connected to Twitter. All of your Twitter followers who are also on Medium will automatically become your Medium followers.

Medium does not have a lot of bells and whistles. You can easily upload images and do basic formatting, but not much else. On the plus side, you can import blog posts, which eliminates tedious copying and pasting. In general, Medium has a nice clean look, which makes posts easy to read. Medium followers are also more apt to look at your profile. While, like LinkedIn, most of my posts on Medium have only generated a modest number of views, occasionally one will take off, generating tens of thousands of views. For that reason alone, it's worth it to post on Medium.

Niume - Niume is a relatively new collaborate blogging platform. It groups posts into Spheres, which are collections sharing a similar theme. When you sign up for Niume, you will be asked to join five Spheres. (Choose those which most closely conform to your blog topics.) After you've joined you can publish your blog posts in any of those Spheres.)

Niume is a little more cumbersome than Medium. It does not allow direct imports of blog posts, and when you copy and paste all your formatting and links will be lost. As far as followers are concerned you will be starting from scratch. (However, the number of views for any given post is entirely unrelated to followers.) Niume also ranks Niumers by "hype" which is a concept I cannot explain to you, because I don't have any idea how it is calculated. (Sometimes, one of my posts will get a lot of reads but no hype. Even more confusing, sometimes a post gets hype but few reads. Go figure.) As Niumers accumulate hype, they advance in rank and influence, which means the posts they give a thumbs up to will gain more hype. The "leaderboard" of each sphere ranks Niumers with the most hype by week, month and all time.

Scriggler - Unlike the other platforms mentioned here, Scriggler is entirely devoted to writers and writing. Once you've signed up, you can post stories, news, and opinion. (Opinion is a good place for blog posts.) Scriggler also sponsors writing contests.

Because Scriggler caters to writers, it actively promotes stories that are posted on the site. Scriggler sends a Publication of the Day to everyone who joins the site, and actively tweets new stories and opinion pieces. Members are enthusiastic, and happy to leave comments.

Reddit - Reddit advertises itself as "the front page of the Internet." Its demographic is young men who have some college education. You can post links to your blog posts on various subreddits, provided that you join first. Subreddits are moderated. Here is a list of subreddits for writers: Reddit for Writers.

Facebook - With well over a billion active users, Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. Posts that go "viral" often do so because of Facebook. (One of my Medium posts got 25,000 views in 48 hours because of Facebook.) If you don't already have a Facebook page, open one, gather up some "friends" and start posting your blog.

In addition to your own Facebook page, there are dozens of public Facebook groups for writers where you can post anything related to writing. If you don't have a lot of "friends" on Facebook, this is a marvelous opportunity! Some of these groups have tens of thousands of members. Start with this list: 39 Facebook Groups for Authors.

#MondayBlogs on Twitter - Author Rachel Thompson started #MondayBlogs as a convenient vehicle for bloggers to share their posts. Every Monday, bloggers tweet their most recent (and/or most interesting) blog posts using the hashtag #MondayBlogs (don't forget the s). #MondayBlogs is wildly popular, with tens of thousands of tweets. (You can tweet anything EXCEPT your book. No ads or photos are allowed.) Use only 120 characters for your tweets to allow others to re-tweet.

In contrast to tweeting randomly, I've seen a significant bump in my blog traffic on Mondays due to #MondayBlogs, especially when people with lots of followers re-tweet my tweets. Here are additional hashtags for writers: 246 Hashtags for Writers.

Pinterest - Founder Ben Silbermann describes Pinterest as a "catalog of ideas," rather than a social network. It is a convenient and elegant means of storing information using images. So, make sure you have a great image on every single one of your blog posts to encourage your visitors to pin.

You can make a board specifically for your blog. Give it a title that matches what your blog is about to make it easier to find in a search. Describe it as "The Best of ____ (name of your blog goes in the blank)" and make sure to use plenty of popular search terms in your description. (You can find these by typing the first few letters of any term into the search bar. Watch what pops up.)

Forums - There are numerous forums for writers - Writer's Digest ForumWriting Forums, Litopia, My Writers Circle, Writer's Beat,  Absolute Write, to name a few. Most forums discourage posting links to blogs until you have introduced yourself and participated in a few discussions, so make sure you check the forum rules before posting.

For more ideas on how to promote your blog, see DIY Author's, How to Promote Your Blog

Also see:

Precycling: A Great Way to Get the Most Mileage Out of Your Blogs

Flogging your Blog
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